Picks and Pans Review: Winter's Bone

updated 08/21/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/21/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Daniel Woodrell

Woodrell's haunting eighth novel is set in a corner of the Ozarks where the Dolly family—200 strong—has lived forever. It's a small, violent world where men are jailbirds and women caretakers. Ree Dolly, 16, longs to flee into the Army but must find her dad, who put her family in jeopardy by disappearing. Trudging over a bleak landscape, calling on wary relatives, Ree is a force of nature. Her determination can land her in serious trouble—or save the day. Heroines this inspiring don't come along often. When they do, they deserve our attention.

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